Ram 5500

One monstrous build

October 2014 Feature Michael Deulley

Diesel engine pickups are strong. Really strong. But no one needs that explained. One drive behind the wheel of a diesel pickup's incredible power is explanation enough. For some people, however, incredible power just isn't enough. It's true that a lot can be done to draw out every inch of a diesel's power potential, but for John Hopkins of Livermore, Colo., miles of power was what he was looking for, and miles of power is what he found with his 2008 Ram 5500 6.7L Cummins. When monstrous power is what you need, it's difficult to find much more power than this.

Hopkins, a salt of the earth man, needed a truck that would work just as hard as he did. Hauling excavators from one work site to the next, he relied on his C7 Cat F650 to get the job done, but the work often proved to be too stressful for the Ford, leading to several breakdowns and just as many costly repairs. Feeling uncertain of what to do next, the search for a heavy-hauling truck led him in all directions. Hopkins had owned several Cummins platforms through the years and was very aware of the robust nature of the engine, so he directed his focus to the towering Ram 5500. A simple test drive was all it took to realize that the truck had already made the decision for him. The results were in and the Ram won.

Although the truck already had an abundance of power behind it, it's not in a diesel driver's nature to simply leave it alone. Shortly after buying the truck, Hopkins had already zeroed in on an H&S tuner to help spice things up. Once the first mod was made, the rest began to follow suit. Hauling excavators and trailers around all day will burden any truck, so Hopkins wanted to give the 5500 not only style, but unrivaled strength and unyielding resilience.

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